"The Obama administration has given its tentative approval to a new mountaintop removal permit, provided the Logan County operation makes changes federal regulators say are needed to protect downstream water quality.
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quietly signed off on federal Army Corps of Engineers issuance of a Clean Water Act permit for Arch Coal Inc. subsidiary Coal-Mac Inc.'s Pine Creek Surface Mine near Omar.
EPA officials praised the company for taking steps to reduce downstream water pollution, but said they also want the company to agree to build its valley fill waste piles one at a time.
Coal-Mac cut its stream impacts by 22 percent, agreed to haul waste rock and dirt for disposal on an adjacent mine site rather than in streams, and increased the deck of its valley fills in another move to reduce the length of waterways buried."
Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette June 29, 2010.